Expansion plan for Nanking memorial

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 July, 2005, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 July, 2005, 12:00am

Mainland authorities will spend about 500 million yuan to expand a memorial commemorating the Nanking massacre in 1937, Jiangsu party secretary Li Yuanchao said yesterday.

As the country gears up for the 60th anniversary of the end of the Sino-Japanese war, Mr Li said the renovation plan would more than triple the exhibition area at the Nanking Massacre Memorial in Nanjing . He said top leaders, including President Hu Jintao and National People's Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo , had proposed the revamp.

At a press briefing for Hong Kong journalists yesterday, Mr Li said: 'Mr Hu and Mr Wu have instructed us to preserve the site and expand it in order to allow more visitors to come here for education.'

The final enlargement plan for the memorial, built 20 years ago to commemorate the nearly 300,000 Nanjing residents killed by Japanese troops in December 1937, was selected from 12 designs submitted from around the world. The project will take about two years to complete.

Japanese investment in Jiangsu rose 67 per cent in the first half of this year, to US$1 billion. However, Mr Li warned that Japanese business activities in Jiangsu and across the mainland would inevitably be affected if political ties worsened.

Discussing the province's business environment, Mr Li said he was well aware of the rising number of disputes and protests, but new local laws on compensation for laid-off workers and people evicted from their homes had eased discontent.